Executive Profiles

Before starting Guard-IT, Mr. Ford spent more than 15 years managing various print media outlets and developing online information systems for the legal and business newspaper industry. While managing a nascent, online division of the Austin American-Statesman in the early 1990s, he transformed the Austin Daily Record newspaper into one of the earliest online, for-profit business models and later developed and launched the first-ever online access to the Austin American-Statesman's news archives.

Taking a leap of faith, Ford left the Statesman in 1999 to start his own venture and saw a vacancy in the booming software and IT services arena. When asked about software escrow services, he immediately saw the value, recognized the need, studied the global market and ran with the idea.  Ford studied the existing software escrow business models and launched Guard-IT in March 1999, incorporating the company in June 1999.

His vision and company mission remains to help software developers and their clients set up and maintain source code escrow accounts with flexible contract terms, easy online account administration and competitive fees.  Today, Guard-IT serves a diverse clientele in 36 countries around the globe from its Austin, Texas headquarters.

Ford graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is the former president and program director of Austin's Technology Advisors Group.

Jim and his wife Sheri recently celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary.  They've lived in Austin since the mid-'80s and have three children and two grandchildren.

Contact Jim: (512) 282-1995 or jford@guard-it.com


For more than 40 years, Mr. Belt (JD, University of Texas Law School, 1972) has operated a commercial law practice in Austin as a solo practitioner, focusing on business contracts and litigation.

Before establishing his Austin practice, Belt practiced in Geneva, Switzerland and Paris, France.  He has also taught business law at the University of Texas School of Business and business studies at Austin Community College.

In addition to his law practice, Belt assists startups and other businesses in raising venture capital, locally and internationally.

Contact Terry: (512) 327-7360 or beltlaw@yahoo.com


Ms. McLain (JD, South Texas College of Law, 1989) is licensed to practice before the all Texas state courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Southern and Western districts of Texas.

McLain is a distinguished and credentialed mediator, handling cases in a variety of business and civil arenas. She has been recognized by Official Proclamation of the Texas Senate for her contributions in community affairs.

She is the founding member of Linda McLain, P.C. and McLain Mediation Services.

Contact Linda: (936) 825-6533 or mclainmediationservices@gmail.com